Environmental health experts have been eagerly awaiting updates to the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 for decades, and this May, that day finally arrived. The new bill is named the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act in honor of Senator Lautenberg, who helped introduce the bill in 2013 and has since passed away.
““This new bill is certainly an improvement on the current Toxic Substances Control Act,” said Landrigan, noting that it would increase pre-market safety testing requirements, with a mandatory emphasis on vulnerable populations. The act also removes some “trade secret” loopholes, which allowed companies to hide data on chemical testing. “But it also doesn’t go as far as a lot of us in the public health community were hoping it would go.”” (Click here to view the original article in The Atlantic)
In May 2016, P30 Center Investigators Dr. Robert Wright (Center Director) and Dr. Manish Arora appeared on an episode of NY1 to describe their research on environmental factors in the development of conditions such as autism, asthma and neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Says Dr. Wright, “It turns out for non-infectious diseases it’s not typically one cause, it’s multiple causes and many of them kind of coming together, perhaps causing you to go over a threshold that leads to a disease.” Please click here to watch an excerpt from the show.
Dr. Phil Landrigan was quoted in a Time article titled “How Air Pollution Became a Major Issue in London Mayoral Race” in May, 2016. Speaking to the point of bringing air quality to the forefront of the international political agenda, Dr. Landrigan says, “The only way that the world is going to get a handle on the problem is if country by country leaders take ownership of the issue.”
In May 2016, Dr. Galvez addressed questions about what types of containers are microwave-safe in a Time Magazine article titled, “That Plastic Container You Microwave In Could Be Super-Toxic.” Says Dr. Galvez, “It’s really hard to be a smart shopper when you don’t necessarily know what’s in a given product, so ideally the legislation and labeling would be in place so that this wouldn’t be a concern.”
Dr. Maida Galvez was quoted in a Stroller Traffic article to advise parents on the quality of water used to mix baby formula. Given recent concerns about contaminated water in the national media, parents of young children wonder whether tap water is safe to be used for this purpose. “If you have high-quality water, filtering is generally not necessary,” says Dr. Galvez. Click here to read the full article.
The Postdoc Executive Committee at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai was recently awarded a grant by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to enhance the Postdoctoral Training program. The Future Leaders in Science Education and Communication Training Program, which began last year, is designed to enhance teaching and science communication skills for postdoctoral fellows. Alison P. Sanders, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Preventive Medicine and P30 trainee, leads the program along with postdocs Eric S. Sweet, PhD, and Ryan J. Cummings, PhD. Click here to view the press release.
In April 2016, Mount Sinai published a press release covering Dr. Sanders’ research on preterm birth and epigenetics. Dr. Sanders, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Preventive Medicine and P30 trainee, worked with Dr. Burris, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, to co-author this study, which was titled “MicroRNA Expression in the Cervix during Pregnancy is Associated with Length of Gestation” and published in the journal Epigenetics. Click here to view the press release.
In March 2016, Dr. Landrigan was quoted in a New York Times Real Estate Article in response to a complaint about copious smoke and soot emitted from a school entering a nearby apartment building and irritating residents.
Dr. Maida Galvez responded to a question about a neighbor’s pesky home fragrance products in a New York Times Real Estate article in March, 2016. Air fresheners and other scented products may cause sinus irritations, headaches, and exacerbate asthma symptoms among many people.
On March 2, 2016, an article highlighting the environmental health risks of poorly maintained schools was published in the Huffington Post. The article was co-authored by Nsedu Obot-Witherspoon, MPH, Executive Director of the Children’s Environmental Health Network.